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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Fade to Light Designer Preview: Garnish

Posted by Marjorie Skinner on Wed, Feb 26, 2014 at 3:29 PM

The semi-annual Fade to Light fashion show is going down at the Crystal tonight, and we're studying up on the crop of designers being featured this time (some of them we know, some of them we're still getting acquainted with). To that end, we sent along some questions about their new collections and how they approach Fade to Light's particular focus on multi-media presentations, which at its most basic involves a video introduction prior to each line's appearance, but which can and has included everything from live music to professional dance routines thrown down in the middle of the runway.

Next up: Garnish by Erica Lurie.

How many times have you participated?
This is the first time we participated in Fade to Light. I haven't had the chance to attend in the past, but two of my employees went last year and raved about what a great show it was. I have found that the quality of fashion shows in Portland has been greatly improving in the past few years in general, so we have been excited to do more and this year we looked to be involved in Fade to Light. (And quite frankly it's good for me to have a deadline to complete my collections!)

How do you feel about the video aspect of the show?
I must admit that when I first heard about the video I was a bit overwhelmed by that aspect. Video is not my medium. However, I am very fortunate to have an incredibly creative employee, Shelby Morgan, who enthusiastically took on the video and created a stunning piece. Shelby and I discussed the concept of the collection and then I gave her complete creative freedom on the project. I can not take an once of credit, it all goes to her.

What can you tell me about this collection?
This collection explores a women's relationship with technology. We are in a digital age in which technology both frees us to explore and also often suffocates us at the same time. As we layer on the mediums like social media, we are often spurred more from a sense of obligation to keep up than from a true desire. In many ways technology has made our lives transparent, but yet our communication now is channelled through an inanimate third party creating a strangely false sense of intimacy with mere acquaintances. We ponder whether this technology bubble that we have found ourselves in will at some point burst releasing us to nature somehow, or if we must look in the mirror and resolve to find this balance on our own, on our terms. And as smart women with smart phones in our pockets (chiming away), we look to peel back the layers until we find ourselves again within.

This theme has resonated especially true with me as I find myself as a busy designer and business woman who simultaneously wants to savor the tender moments offered to me by my two small children (three years and three months). And as I find myself thumbing away my responses on my phone while breastfeeding my little one I wonder how successful I am at this. But perhaps it's a process not an awakening or a complete shunning of the realities of the time in which we're living.

In our Spring/Summer collection I explore these themes through the use of digital prints that evoke nature; both in their depictions and in their fiber contents (think silks and bamboos). I played with the idea of our lives being transparent through the use of sheers and layers which can be added or taken away. Additionally I looked to the design lines to convey how technology is fracturing our lives.

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